The market is there. The Consumer Electronics Association estimated that in 2014 about 143 million American shoppers made an internet purchase. The total U.S. population is approximately 318 million, so that nearly 45 percent of all Americans, including children, made an online purchase this past year.
What follows are five pointers that will assist you begin an ecommerce business.
1. Sell Hard-to-find Products
You will earn better profit margins and, ultimately, be more successful, if you have less competition. Put another way, your ecommerce company may work better if you market relatively hard-to-find, market, or special products.
Consider Tide laundry detergent. Tide is a fantastic product. It solves a consumer issue. It’s consumable, which means that you may sell it to the same customer. But it’s also available at many, many shops. Target sells it. Walmart sells it. You may purchase it on eBay, or, sometimes, get it in the convenience store on the corner. Virtually every grocery store in American sells it. It’s easy to find and purchase.
Tide is a fantastic product that can offer real value to your clients, but it’s also a mass-market item, available at thousands of shops. So in case you sell Tide, you have a good deal of competition.
If you started an ecommerce company focused on selling Tide, you’d need something aside from the merchandise to compel shoppers to pick your store. You’d need them to change purchasing habits.
In contrast, consider Suples Training Systems’ Bulgarian Bag. This is a totally unique product. Originally made by Ivan Ivanov to train Olympic wrestlers, the Bulgarian Bag is only available from Suples’ site and its authorized dealers. Suples has no competition because of its patented product. While the market for Bulgarian Bags is a lot smaller than the market for Tide, Suples can still make a great profit.
Suples presents unique products. It has no direct competition. While the general market could be smaller, Suples can continue to be profitable with comparative ease.
As a third example, consider Dollar Beard Club, Beardbrand, and Billy Jealousy. Each one of these companies sells beard oil, an essential grooming supply for some guys. Beard oil is available from many sites, but every one of those companies have their own oil, only available from their website.
The trick here is to find products that can help make your online store a destination.
2. Solve a Problem
In a February 2015 article, I wrote that”there’s a mantra of sorts in entrepreneurial circles which says’do not simply begin a business, solve a problem’ If you solve someone’s problem and generate a must-have merchandise or service that does something more readily, better, less expensively, or simply faster than existing solutions — the thinking goes — you ought to be a success.”
Solving a problem doesn’t necessarily mean that your company should invent something. Rather, occasionally solving a problem is often as straightforward as making something only a little easier.
Men with big feet may sometimes have difficulty finding shoes, but 2BigFeet solves this problem.
Consider the case of 2BigFeet. com, which sells men’s shoes in sizes 14 to 22. There is, perhaps, nothing novel about purchasing sneakers. However, for many shoppers, this website solves a problem.
Men with huge feet can’t simply go to the mall, walk into a conventional shoe shop and find a pair of sneakers. Physical shoe shops almost never take stock up to size 22.
A online shopper can get a size 16, 17, or 18 on Zappos or Amazon, but it’s like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. But on 2BigFeet, these dimensions are in stock and easy to discover.
A company built on helping clients solve a real problem should be a true success.
3. Seek Repeat Shoppers
This is true for at least two reasons. The top one percent of your company’s customers will be repeat shoppers, returning again and again to make a purchase. These repeat customers will spend more over time, because they aren’t merely making a single purchase.
Secondly, repeat customers are inclined to spend more on each and every trip.
The above report from RJMetrics estimated that the normal ecommerce client will spend about $54 per purchase. But an ecommerce company’s top 1 percent of consumers will spend about $267 per trip — more than 5 times as much as your normal customer.
When you’re beginning a new ecommerce business, you must concentrate on getting new clients. Nonetheless, you ought to do whatever you can to transform those new customers into repeat buyers.
While there are lots of things your company can do to make repeat business, make sure that you’re adding shoppers to your email list and supplying a fantastic shopping experience right from the start.
4. Invest in Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the very best tools that online retailers need to drive sales. As soon as you’ve a fantastic collection of active clients, you can send an email and see that the orders come in. In reality, by some estimates, for each dollar invested in email advertising, your company can expect a yield of over $44.
Email marketing is a relatively mature industry, so there are lots of excellent email providers, including companies like MailUp.
For this to work, new ecommerce companies will need to invest money, advertising, and time into email list construction.
- Use a good email service provider, such as MailUp, MailChimp, Bronto, Constant Contact, GetResponse, Silverpop, or comparable.
- Opt in shoppers at checkout.
- Product and promote email subscriptions on your website.
- Spend some time segmenting your listing.
- Send useful and valuable email messages.
- Use automation to enhance performance.
5: Plan Your Order Fulfillment
Which products should you stock? How many should you stock? What size boxes will you want? Which shipping companies work best? How much will shipping cost?
Order fulfillment is a substantial part of your clients’ experience. If a package arrives on time and in great shape, your clients will likely be inclined to order from your website again. But late orders badly packaged will not encourage repeat business.
Ask yourself these questions if you intend for order fulfillment.
- Can I have this item drop shipped?
- Can I have sufficient company to utilize an order fulfillment company?
- Can I offer free delivery on this item?
- What are the cheapest way to ship this across the nation?
- What are the cheapest way to ship this within my area?
In the long run, planning for satisfaction before you launch your shop should help you begin with better footing.